On our blog, we frequently discuss the latest news in workers’ compensation in Texas. However, few understand how it works in our state.
According to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), “Workers’ compensation is a state-regulated insurance program that pays medical bills and replaces some lost wages for employees who are injured at work or who have work-related diseases or illnesses.”
Compensation will pay for a worker’s medical treatment if they were injured or made ill while on the job. The insurance can also pay for some lost wages.
The employer purchases workers’ compensation; unfortunately, Texas is the only state that does not require employers to maintain this coverage. If an employer chooses to have workers’ comp, they can get it two ways:
- Purchase policies from private insurance companies.
- Self-insure, which means a calculated amount of money is set aside to compensate employees who may be injured (this can only occur if the business meets the requirements of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act and are certified by the TDI, Department of Workers’ Compensation).
Why Does Texas Give Employers the Option to Provide Workers’ Comp?
The TDI says that the first workers’ compensation laws in Texas came in 1913. At the time, the legislators believed that employers should have the freedom to decide if they want to provide workers’ comp to their employees.
They feared that government run programs would limit the property rights of an employer since there was no due process of the law.
However, in 1917, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was legal to require employers to participate in workers’ compensation programs.
If an employee is injured on the job and the employer does not carry any compensation coverage, the employee is the one who will suffer. The only way for an employee to get compensated for their injuries is to hire an experienced lawyer who can fight for their right to fair compensation.
The Law Offices of Aaron Allison – Austin Workers’ Compensation Attorney